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Renown Health announces advanced heart technology



renown_brochure_091006_b-5More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. To help doctors identify the early stages of a heart attack, Renown Health announces a new diagnostic camera that will provide sharper diagnostic images of the heart in 2-4 minutes and help determine risk assessment.

The D-SPECT Cardiac Imaging System will be the first of its kind in northern Nevada and is one of only 30 in the world. Connected with the opening of Renown’s Chest Pain Center, the new technology will help detect heart attacks faster and more accurately when it arrives later next week.

“When someone has a heart attack, time translates to (heart) muscle, and every minute counts,” said Bill Thompson, manager of Nuclear Medicine for X-Ray and Imaging at Renown Regional Medical Center and manager for Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health. “This technology is capable of acquiring patient data up to four-times faster than conventional methods and provides clinicians with cardiac flow data.”

Key clinical benefits of the D-SPECT cardiac imaging system:
• Increased throughput with rapid 4-minute Gated SPECT acquisitions
• Enhanced patient comfort with fast scanning while sitting in a chair without having to hold left arm over head
• Reduced errors with streamlined patient information management
• Ability to acquire accurate readings from patients weighing more than 500 pounds

The D-SPECT Cardiac Imaging System was developed by Spectrum Dynamics, a medical device company focused on personalized molecular imaging and applications. The first cameras were installed and tested at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Baptist Cardiac Vascular Institute in Miami and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

Saving heart muscle
Studies have shown that when patients receive treatment within 90 minutes after having a heart attack, the ability to save damaged heart muscle is greatly increased. The heart attack that needs the quickest response is known as an ST segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction or STEMI. A quick and systematic response offers the best chance for an optimal outcome.

“Our commitment to providing fast, efficient, quality care for heart attack patients is stronger than ever,” said Ron Laxton, RN, CEO at Renown Regional Medical Center. “We created a response team in May to improve our process of caring for heart attack patients and since we implemented our Code STEMI response team, our average door-to-balloon time [the time between when the patient presents with chest pain symptoms and receives an artery intervention such as an angioplasty] in July and August was 64 minutes.”

Emergency teams like REMSA, Renown’s local emergency medical services provider, are in constant contact with the hospital when they bring in patients with chest pain and who show signs of a heart attack, Laxton said. The second the ambulance arrives, Renown’s ER is ready.

By giving the patient a tracer shot (very small amounts of internally administered radioactive materials or radioisotopes), doctors are able to use the imaging technology to detect blockages and other significant problems in coronary arteries and assess where the patient needs to go and for what treatment.

In conjunction with quality cardiac care and other accreditations, Renown Regional is designated as the region’s only Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health vascular lab is also accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories.

Renown Health has long been recognized as a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related illness. More cardiovascular procedures are done at Renown than anywhere else in the region. Renown has also introduced many of the community’s cardiovascular milestones including the first open-heart surgery, first cardiac angioplasty and first heart catheterization.

In 2008, Renown Regional became the first hospital between Seattle, Wash., and Long Beach, Calif., to perform a da Vinci® Mitral Valve Repair; was the first hospital in the state to use the Talent Abdominal Stent Graft; introduced the first true 64-slice CT scanner that successfully detected coronary artery disease in two separate pediatric patients and was among the first in the nation and first in the state to implant the new implantable cardioverter defibrillator called TELIGEN. The health network was also the first to partner with BioMedix and introduce PADNet Screenings designed to detect peripheral artery disease.

About Renown Health’s Chest Pain Center:
The Renown chest pain team members are experts in caring for patients with chest pain whether or not they are having a heart attack. Consumer benefits of having a chest pain center include the following.
• Renown has a dedicated cardiac observation protocol in the ER where immediate medical attention is offered to those who fit the chest pain protocol.
• Renown offers specialized care for heart-related emergencies by an expert team of emergency physicians and nurses.

Renown’s pursuit for a chest pain center accreditation depends on its continued ability to meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria. According to the Society of Chest Pain Centers, chest pain centers are expected to demonstrate expertise and commitment to quality patient care including the following.
• Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
• Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly
• Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
• Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
• Ensuring Chest Pain Center personnel competency and training
• Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

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